Are you curious about gluten free foods? Then this guide is just for you. Here we will discuss gluten, why some people need to eat gluten free foods, and finish up with a list of the most popular gluten free foods.
But first and foremost, what is gluten? Gluten is the result of two or more proteins, that when mixed together create the elasticity commonly found in dough. These proteins are present in wheat, among other cereal grains. It might be helpful to think of gluten as the glue (derived from Latin) that helps food maintain their shape and hold it together.
What Does Gluten Free Mean?
Now we know what gluten is, we can also deduct what gluten is not. Gluten free indicates foods that do not contain the naturally occurring proteins found in most cereal grains, particularly wheat, barley, rye, spelt, oat, and other related grains.
Gluten free food does not mean no more pizza, bread rolls, or other dough-based favorites. As you may have noticed, a plethora of gluten free foods exist in stores today. Wholefoods and Trader Joe’s, among others, are often the go-to markets for gluten free foods. Additionally, gluten free does not exclude popular grains such as rice or quinoa, as these are naturally free of gluten.
Gluten Free Foods for Who?
Gluten free foods are especially important for people with food allergies or those diagnosed with celiac disease. People suffering from celiac disease cannot digest gluten. As celiac disease is a long-term autoimmune disorder, a strict and comprehensive gluten free regime is prescribed.
Besides people diagnosed with celiac disease, whether one should adopt a gluten free diet or not is controversial. Some medical experts report that cutting out gluten from one’s diet can result in the lack of nutrients the body needs and is thus detrimental to one’s health. On the contrary, medical figures like Dr. Axe recommends going gluten free even for those with normal, stable diets, as an absence of gluten can lead to less bloating, gas, as well as burn unwanted fat.
Best Gluten Free Foods
Whether you need to adopt a gluten free diet or are just curious about the varieties of gluten free foods, here is a list of the most popularly consumed gluten free foods.
● All forms of corn
● All forms of rice
● Grains such as…
○ Flax, quinoa, tapioca, polenta, millet, buckwheat, amaranth, etc.
● Non-gluten flours
○ Almond flour, coconut flour, amaranth flour, millet flour, chickpea flour, etc.
● Dairy products such as…
○ Butter (or margarine), milk, yogurt, (real) cheese, and most ice creams
● Fruits and veggies
● Meats, eggs, beans
● Nuts, potatoes, legumes
● Gluten free pizzas, breads, etc.
● Vegetable oils
● Plain spices
While this list is not comprehensive, it’s easy to see that, although one would think a gluten free diet limits many delicious dishes and treats, a diverse variety of foods remain safe to consume.
Have you ever tasted the difference between a pizza and a gluten free pizza? What was it like? We hope you were able to take away from this brief guide on gluten free foods!